13 April 2017

Carding Mill Virtual Easter Egg Hunt


To celebrate Easter we've put up a virtual Easter Egg Hunt on Fieldscapes in the Carding Mill Valley. Its a nice simple exercise that shows:


  • Object collisions triggering sound, a count reduction and object disappearance
  • A variable rule that gives a message when it reaches zero

We've laid out 10 large (~1m) and 10 small (~ 0.3m) eggs. We thought it would be easy, but its a real challenge to find all the eggs, The better way to play it is how many can you find in 10 minutes. Mind you, think of it in the real world. If I hid 10 huge Galaxy Easter Eggs over the bottom half of Carding Mill Valley I bet you wouldn't find it easy to find them all!

Of course this would also be a good game to play collaboratively. Whilst the eggs themselves aren't multi-user at the moment (so if I find an egg you can still see it and find it) we can still collaborate by remembering (or mapping) where we find the eggs in order to help others. And once we have multi-user objects than we can all hunt for the same eggs - it would be interesting to know which is the better model to foster collaboration!

Watch out for more Festival themed exercises on Fieldscapes in the future, and remember that you can clone the Easter Egg exercise to make your own version!



10 April 2017

Fieldscapes Open Beta starts today


The Fieldscapes Open Beta starts today. Our plan is to run this until 3rd May when we will go fully live. During the Open Beta all functionality is live and we have created a set of example lessons and exercises - but the aim is that it is you the educators and tutors who ultimately create and share the content which will make Fieldscapes - and 3D immersive learning in your classroom - a success.

There is a step by step guide to registering and downloading, or you can go directly to the Download and Registration pages. You MUST register in order to use the application.

Note that if you "play" an exercise at the same time as another tutor you will be able to see them and communicate by text chat - but they will not see how you are playing the exercise - you each have your own version. We call this hybrid multi-user, and will add full multi-user later in the year.

Fieldscapes is designed to support any sort of immersive learning, including:
  • Support physical field-trips for geography, biology, geology and other earth and environmental sciences
  • Allow visits to (global) locations which are not practicable (or safe) to visit in (or out of) class time
  • STEM lessons on the Moon, Mars, the Solar System and other worlds
  • History lessons in virtual Roman or Tudor towns.
  • Comparing castle and abbey ruins to how they were when built
  • Virtual battlefield tours – Naseby already available
  • Maths for the real world – exploring maths in real contexts (good for science too!)
  • Virtual laboratories (and virtual experiments)
  • Letting students create immersive environments to present back rather than a Powerpoint or poster
  • Virtual drama and set design
  • Letting students learn programming without having to worry about syntax 
  • Language learning – just write an exercise in a foreign language, or create a foreign setting
  • Vocational skills, trade and business training
  • Health and care training – we already have a virtual clinic

Donwload our 4 page summary and 20 page description from the Resources page.

The Beta version can be used on Oculus Rift as well as in 3D only PC. We will add Mac, Android and Android Cardboard versions before the formal launch, with iOS and other HMDs to follow.

Do use the Forums for any support requests or user feedback (or email support@fieldscapevr.com), and do post how you are using Fieldscapes to the Forums or our Facebook page.

We'll be setting up some webinars on How to Use Fieldscapes (including editing) over the next few weeks - but most of you should find that you'll be able to dive right in. If you're coming from Second Life we've got a comparison of the two systems.

We look forward to seeing you in Fieldscapes.




5 April 2017

VWBPE17 Virtual Safari to Fieldscapes

Starting off in the Demonstration Space

As a follow up to the VWBPE presentation last week last night we hosted a virtual field trips (also called a virtual safari) to our virtual field trip system - Fieldscapes! 

We had about half-a-dozen attendees from (I think), the UK, Egypt, and North America. We ran a skype group call to give us audio, and then I also used in world chat. We were making use of a new Fieldscapes feature which is that is, as a tutor, you PLAY (not EDIT/TEST) an exercise then you will also meet any other educator/tutor also trying that exercise out. Note that when working with students you create assignments which limit entry to just your nominated students, so the new feature doesn't effect the child safety aspects of the system.

We started in the Demonstration Space where the visitors were able to try out the props and see most of the basic behaviours of Fieldscapes. We then moved on to Mars, and after that Carding Mill Valley.

Overall the session went very well, even though name labels are temporarily missing and we only get our first full load of avatars this week! Lots of discussion of comparison between SL and Fieldscapes, and also between older systems like ReactionGrid/Jibe, and newer ones like Sinewave's Space and Fieldscapes - and Fieldscapes came out pretty well all round I think for what it's intended for - delivering 3D and VR immersive education at scale.

The event certainly encourages us to do more tours like this, so we'll post a schedule up on EventBrite shortly and probably host one a month for people to get to know the system - as well as doing separate Editor focussed sessions.


Showing how students can be enabled to move objects in world - like the pointer

Exploring an empty Mars! Spacesuit on its way!

Walking up into Carding Mill Valley

31 March 2017

vLearning: From Second Life to Fieldscapes

Presentation from my Virtual Worlds Best Practice in Education Conference 2017 talk describing how our experiences in Second Life have influenced the development of Fieldscapes.




And here are some images from the event. It's always good fun to use Second Life to talk about virtual worlds.






15 March 2017

DatascapeVR Released!


We officially released DatascapeVR (aka Datascape v2.1) today.

The big feature is the "Publish to Web" button. This takes your visualisation (up to around 5000 points) and publishes to the web via WebGL. The system gives you a unique URL which you can share with friends and colleagues and they just click on this and the 3d visualisation opens up in their browser AND they can fly through and around the visualisation just as you can on the desktop version. This is a "view only" mode at the moment, they can't change the visualisation, or interact with it beyond clicking on a point for the hover text, but we can add more features if there is the demand.


It doesn't stop there though. Since we're using WebGL it also means that you can view the visualisation on smartphone. And clicking on the VR mode option brings up a stereoscopic display so you can drop the phone into your Google Cardboard and explore the visualisation in full VR!

We have a video demo/tutorial and you can request a free 21 day trial from our brand new DatascapeVR website.

And if you want to see what a WebGL data visualisation looks like in your browser right now - just click on this link: http://live.datascapevr.com/viewer/?wid=26417d10-3d94-43d8-936b-22298153bee9




6 March 2017

Fieldscapes at Virtual Worlds Best Practice in Education Conference 2017



The Virtual Worlds Best Practice in Education Conference is a long standing virtual event looking at the use of virtual worlds and 3D immersive environments in education. Whilst much of the early VWBPE was in Second Life, Wonderland and other virtual worlds - and VWBPE main hub is still in Second Life, the conference now includes other environments - such as our own Fieldscapes.

We have two Fieldscapes contributions to the conference:


  • On 31st March at 6pm UK time, 1000 SLT/CET we have a presentation on Fieldscapes, and since the theme of the conference is "Legacy" we'll look at how Fieldscapes grew out of our early work in Second Life and Open Sim.
  • On 4th April at 9pm UK time, 1300 SLT/CET we are hosting a "virtual field trip" to a "virtual field trip" when we invite delegates into Fieldscapes to experience a couple of our lessons, and then leave then to play with the editor.

You can find out more about, and sign up to, VWPE2017 at https://vwbpe.org/ and details of the virtual field trip and associated Passport to the Metaverse are at https://vwbpe.org/vwbpe-news/vwbpe-2017-immersive-experiences-and-passport-to-the-metaverse.

Daniel and Humza Work Experience

By: Daniel and Humza, Yr10, AUEA

On the 13th of February, we arrived at the Daden office and were introduced to Nash and Sean. Sean and Nash were going to be the ones helping us learn and develop skills in software testing and also using different software such as Unity 3D. For the first day we learned the basics of Fieldscapes, one of Daden's products that allow to go on a virtual fieldtrip. In our opinion Fieldscapes is easy to learn and understand. Fieldscapes also has a wiki one can reference if they need help.

On the second day we were a given one tasks to complete for the week. Firstly we asked to test Fieldscapes and look for bugs in the software. During our testing we were also asked to think of an experience we would to create using Fieldscapes. We created a mind map of all the ideas that we had. In the end, we agreed to use Pokémon because of the endless ideas that we had that would work well by adjusting Pokémon.

  



On the third day we started to download 3d models of Pokémon and import into Unity. Once they were imported, we had to adjust their length and widths so they would be able to fit onto our world. We downloaded about 15 Pokémon alongside buildings and a small city.

On the fourth day, after we sorted out our Pokémon, we started to work on the landscape. We were showed how to access the Unity Asset Store to see the terrains we would use. We chose a grass terrain and edited it to fit in with our planning diagram. We changed the middle area to be flat for the city, with mountains covering the outside.



On the final day, we imported both the terrain and Pokémon onto a Fieldscapes and started to create settings for each Pokémon. For example if you were to tap on one it would make a sound and show the details about it. Instead of repeating this for each Pokémon, we used the clone tool when we found the location to hide them, they were given the same properties. We used unity in order for us to adjust and resize the models of the Pokémon.

We also were able to use the Oculus Rift to explore the world we have made and all the Pokémon that we have inserted in virtual reality


Overall we have enjoyed week here and everyone was kind and helpful.